Archive for April, 2012

Climbing analysis

Today was a really hard ride … no racing this weekend (sadly) since the Barbers race was cancelled this year. So I did a bit of race simulation by picking out the longest climb in the Birmingham area (Pumphouse – Vestavia Dr) and trying to take back the KOM on it. I also picked out two other climbs to hit hard – one before the Pumphouse climb and one after it. The Vestavia Falls to Vestavia Lake overlook climb came shortly after the Pumphouse climb. I had gone hard enough on the Pumphouse Climb to be hyperventilating across the top down to chester and then nearly fall over climbing up chester so I had only barely pulled it together by the time I hit the Vestavia Falls climb. By the top of this third KOM effort for the day, I had so little upper body strength left from pulling on the bars that I felt something was wrong with my wheels/tires because any bump or small gust of wind would knock me a little sideways. I realized later that it was because I had nothing left in the muscles to compensate for the normal riding conditions. Thankfully this only lasted a short ways back down the descent. Still, I was somewhat shell-shocked from the back-to-back efforts, and it wasn’t until I had made it over closer to Bluff Park that I was starting to feel normal again. The rest of the ride was at a much harder than normal tempo to try to minimize total ride time given that today is my wife’s birthday, and we were heading out to the cheesecake factory for a late birthday lunch.

Here are the iBike stats on the KOMs I set today (in order) -

---------Caldwell Mill to Abingdon Abandoned House ---------
Dist:        0.78 mi (0:03:33)
Energy:      78.9 kJ
Cals Burn:   75.4 kcal
Climbing:     288 ft (Strava cat 4)
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power     204  370.5   562  W
Aero        0   39.2   191  W
Rolling    10   17.1    28  W
Gravity    -2  298.7   520  W
Speed     7.9   13.2  21.5  mi/h
Wind      0.0    8.4  22.2  mi/h
Elev      291    433   560  ft
Slope    -0.0   6.79  15.6  %
Caden      55   73.7    92  rpm
HR        106  161.2   173  bpm
NP:371W IF:1.34 TSS:11 VI:1.00
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 4/7/2012 11:05 AM
71 degF; 1013 mbar
---------Pumphouse - Vestavia Dr ---------
Dist:        4.85 mi (0:16:22)
Energy:     335.2 kJ
Cals Burn:  320.4 kcal
Climbing:     864 ft (Strava cat 3)
Braking:    -15.5 kJ (-4.6%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  341.3   678  W
Aero        0  127.6   900  W
Rolling     0   23.0    43  W
Gravity  -971  163.4   667  W
Speed     0.0   17.8  33.2  mi/h
Wind      0.0   16.3  41.1  mi/h
Elev      157    468   853  ft
Slope    -8.8   2.75  14.8  %
Caden      16   77.9   107  rpm
HR        126  171.6   193  bpm
NP:363W IF:1.31 TSS:47 VI:1.06
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 4/7/2012 11:32 AM
75 degF; 1013 mbar
---------Vestavia Fall to Vestavia Lake overlook ---------
Dist:        0.75 mi (0:03:17)
Energy:      73.2 kJ
Cals Burn:   70.0 kcal
Climbing:     274 ft (Strava cat 4)
Braking:      0.0 kJ (0.0%)
          Min   Avg    Max
Power       0  371.6   675  W
Aero        0   35.8   321  W
Rolling    12   17.7    32  W
Gravity   -89  317.4   693  W
Speed     9.3   13.7  24.4  mi/h
Wind      0.0   10.6  27.2  mi/h
Elev      416    562   684  ft
Slope    -2.5   6.96  14.8  %
Caden       8   70.6    95  rpm
HR        122  170.1   180  bpm
NP:392W IF:1.41 TSS:11 VI:1.05
CdA: 0.342 m^2; Crr: 0.0039
168 lbs; 4/7/2012 12:07 PM
76 degF; 1013 mbar

The pumphouse climb is the longest climb in the immediate Birmingham area (that I know of). It is just over 4.5 miles long with nearly 750ft of vertical diff from the low point near the Cahaba River to the highest point on the Shades Mountain ridge on Vestavia Dr. There are also two stop lights, three stop signs, and three downhills on the climb so the total elevation gain is well over 850ft. What was really interesting today is that there was a steady, firm breeze blowing from the west and yet I had a tailwind on most of the pumphouse climb which should have been straight into the headwind. The deep valleys in Birmingham sometimes get colder in the mornings than the top of the ridge lines. Then during mid to late morning and even early afternoon, you get an updraft on the hills as the air warms in the valleys and rises. Note in the iBike screenshot below zoomed into the pumphouse climb that there is a headwind on the flats and downhills and a tailwind on the uphills. This wasn’t just erroneous wind readings on the ibike, it was really obvious when you were hitting the headwind and when you had the tailwind.

pumphouse climb annotated map with wind direction
ibike graph for pumphouse climb – annotated

ibike data for the complete ride (click to enlarge)

Finally, here is a fun easter picture I got of the kids right after I got back from my ride … happy easter everyone!
THREE easter bunnies

And here annotated garmin screenshots from the ride:

April 7, 2012 at 8:19 pm 1 comment

Dothan Cityfest 2012

Race summary
17th place after missing the winning break of 8. Kenda, Mountain Khakis, UHC-Georgia, Team Coco’s, and Rosetti brought their top crit riders. Frank Travieso (Team Coco’s) won the race from the breakaway by attacking on the last lap and holding on until the end. Emile Abraham (Rosetti) took the sprint from the rest of the break for 2nd with Brendan Cornett (Locos) taking an impressive 3rd to round out the podium after bridging up to the break by himself. Kenda and Mountain Khakis also had riders in the break so they were not chasing. Andy Crater (Cleveland Clinic) tried to bridge across twice late in the race and could not quite close the gap. I tried to go with several early moves thinking that an early break would stick. It seemed that the race was too fast for any breaks to stick. I started sliding backwards after a 20 minute section with a heartrate average of 182 bpm (several beats above threshold) that started 10 minutes into the race. I recovered after a few laps, but unfortunately the winning break went at this point. I tried three different times to bridge across and/or get a chase group started, but the field brought the move back fairly quick each time. Then as the laps ticked down I switched tactics to try and position well for the field sprint and I was happy with how the field sprint played out as it felt a lot like the last couple laps of the Sunny King criterium which is coming up in a couple weeks. I ended up 9th in the field sprint for 17th in the race.

The data
No powertap data for the race, as I had a loose spoke on my rear powertap wheel and switched to my light climbing wheels (2006 Bontrager 3X Lite) which are still pretty good for crits b/c they accelerate so easily. Still, I raced with my iBike and merged the iBike data with my Garmin heartrate data to obtain the annotated polar graph shown below. The iBike graph shows where I was drafting pretty clearly.

Annotated heartrate summary (two new yearly heartrate records so far this year – most time in Zone 5 for a race and highest max heartrate of 195bpm)

Heartrate and ibike power plot annotated (click to enlarge)

Annotated ibike data (click to enlarge)

Finally, here are some pics and videos that Kristine got. The picture after the videos is my favorite … looking for the magic entrance into the side of the building

Analise and Josiah look for the magic entrance into the side of a building while scootering in the parking lot

April 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm 2 comments

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Lots of climbing on commute home Picked up a hitchhiker on my way home! Bottom of elevator forgot my shoes, great ride start

Kristine’s ToonesFanClub

  • @CoachTimHall @briantoone Well, it wasn't NBD :) hardest thing I've ever seen him finish. Last 70 were harder than all other 430. 1 week ago
  • Last - thanks so much for all the encouragement. It meant a ton to know y'all were cheering us on virtually!! #sogladyobedone #HOTS500 1 week ago
  • Here's his comment from Facebook about the last 70 miles. For the record, I was struggling to stay awake behind him. http://t.co/AmwVzBnYeV 1 week ago
  • Sorry to leave y'all hanging! @briantoone -rather, WE - finished the brutal effort this am at 3:48, so 31hrs and 48min in 1st place. 1 week ago
  • We've been finishing these last miles from Talladega forever, like 3.5hrs. Currently zig-zagging up a hill on Sicard Hollow. #almosthome 1 week ago

Brian Toone

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Quick reference stats

Anaerobic Threshold:
Power:315 watts
Heart rate:180 bpm
Maximums:
Power:1097 watts (5s)
Heart rate:198 bpm (5s)
AT power estimated by critical power curve in Golden Cheetah, which predicts I should be able to maintain 315 watts for 1 hour.

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